Lenovo just can’t catch a break these days. Just after another reported security flaw in its pre-installed software, the world’s largest PC makers is once again the target of criticism over its newly launched LaVie Z 360 laptop/tablet hybrids. Consumer Reports took to the Web to inform the public about Lenovo knowingly shipping a defective product and offering a 5 percent refund in reparation. Lenovo, however, stands firm that there was no defect. Instead, the blame lies solely on an error on what got put up on the LaVie Z 360’s product page.
Here’s the scoop on the drama, On Friday, Consumer Reports posted an article calling the public’s attention on what might be rather scandalous behavior for the PC maker. In a nutshell, it points out that the LaVie Z 360 isn’t functioning in the four modes (laptop, tablet, tent, stand) promised on the product page, with tent and stand not working as advertised. It also presents an email from Lenovo acknowledging the issue but, rather than actually fix the problem, will continue shipping the device and just offer a 5 percent refund.
According to Lenovo, the problem isn’t technical, it’s clerical. The error wasn’t in the device but in the product information that was put up on the LaVie Z 360 web page that misled people to believe that the device was indeed capable of four modes. However, Lenovo points out that at the CES 2015 reveal, nowhere did they mention this fact and only pointed out that the convertible model of the LaVie Z supported laptop and tablet modes, not tent nor stand. Even Consumer Reports’ own coverage back then alludes to that. We also got our hands on with the LaVie Z Convertible HZ750 to the same effect.
Now there’s a bit of an expectation that Lenovo might provide a firmware update that fixes Consumer Reports’ complaints, but considering the root cause is the lack of hardware, that might not be the case. Lenovo said that putting it tent and stand modes would have required additional parts that would add to the heft of the LaVie Z and would be contrary to its nature. Besides, its Yoga line is the standard bearer for that quadruple mode.
On the one hand, it’s not hard to imagine how frustrated consumers would be for this “clerical error”. Given some similarities with the Yogas, it is also almost too easy to presume that the LaVie Z 360 would have the same talents. Lenovo admits that it hasn’t been great at even conveying the apology. We do expect a better and a fuller one soon, plus maybe a full, not just 5 percent, refund offer.